Agile/Kanban workflows in Workamajig [in-depth guide]
Guide contents: Agile workflow setup | Agile workflow process
Workamajig supports multiple workflow options depending on an agency's typical processes. These primarily break out into 2 major categories: Waterfall/Critical Path & Agile/Kanban. This post covers Agile/Kanban. Learn more about Waterfall/Critical Path workflows in Workamajig here.
The default method is a critical path or waterfall style management utilizing templates capturing the task & predecessor details of your common project types.
Workamajig also supports Agile or Kanban-style workflows. Agile workflows will still start at the template level, but the tasks and their order are often more fluid, putting more emphasis on task statuses and priority assignments than due dates or predecessors. Live projects in this workflow are primarily resourced from the Assignment management page.
Read on to learn more.
Agile workflow setup
An informal or Agile workflow in Workamajig utilizes the tile view of the Creatives - Today page and the Assignment management resourcing tool. These are Kanban-style pages that are meant to mirror each other. Tasks are placed into and moved through statuses on a weekly basis, with the mirrored detail both showing the assignee the detail of their current workload and tasks by their priority and allowing a project or resource manager to see up-to-date detail of the progress of these assignments.
The setup for an informal workflow begins at the template level. In an informal workflow, tasks are often rolled into top-level detail and do not necessarily need to be completed in order. Tasks can still have predecessors that control the order & timeline but are often set to run the length of a project or segment.
There are a few setup items to consider before building templates in an informal workflow:
Services are a system setup item used to track and categorize employee labor for use in task assignments, time entry, tracking and reporting, and client invoicing. At a template level, a task notes the milestones that need to be completed for a project, and services are used to designate the role or roles needed to complete those tasks. All instances of Workamajig are pre-loaded with default services that should be adjusted.
Project types allow you to group projects into different categories for reporting purposes. Project types can and should be set at the template level. A template with a project typeset will automatically copy that project type to any live jobs copied from that template. This ensures there are no gaps in reporting from projects without a type, or with an incorrect typeset.
Project status codes
Project status codes determine the point a project is at in the production process. These status codes not only provide information on the current state of a project but also determine if a project is considered active. Assigned users will not see the details of a task or project that is not in an active status and resourcing screens ignore inactive projects by default. Additionally, project status codes control whether users can charge time or expenses to a project.
The Agile workflow process
Project templates & task statuses
The setup for an informal workflow begins at the template level. Even with fewer or more open-ended tasks, capturing the detail of these tasks and their allocations in a template is an important part of the Agile intake process. Agile templates may have fewer tasks and will often have a more freeform style, eschewing predecessors for task statuses, managed by the Assignment management page in Workamajig.
Depending on the needs of your agency, the tasks defined at the template level for Agile-type projects may be defined to run the length of a project, or within monthly blocks that can be added to a project as needed. Just as in a Critical path workflow, these assignments should contain an allocated hours total for resourcing purposes.
Project/resource management - assignment management
The Assignment management page is a Kanban-style view with user-defined task statuses. This page displays the current task assignments, statuses, and hourly allocations for all users.
Assignments are placed into the default status of work to be done upon creation and can be moved via clicking and dragging, allowing a project manager to prioritize them on a weekly or daily basis. Task notes can also be placed on these cards to provide more detail on the urgency, or any changes to the nature of the work. A mirrored version of this page is displayed on the tile view of the Creatives - Today page, communicating to the assigned user the changes made.
Unassigned work can be similarly placed with users using the search tool on the left-hand side of the page and tasks can be passed between users via click and drag. Tasks and to-dos can be created directly on this page using the + button.
Though hourly allocations may be a bit secondary to task status in this workflow, allocations from active projects can be seen daily and weekly for each user. These are represented by the total number of hours daily underneath the name of the user. The calculations are the same as seen in the staff schedule:
Hourly detail is broken out evenly over the duration of a task and updated when actual hours are entered. So for example, a task allocated 10 hours with a 5-day duration will allocate 2 hours per day on the task, using the plan start/complete dates to determine specifically where those hours should be allocated. Each evening the remaining allocated hours for a task are divided up evenly over the remaining duration.
Blocked-off meetings are also considered as an allocated time for any invited users.
Creative production - tile view & task statuses
In an Agile workflow, Creatives will use the Tile view on the Creatives - Today page. This view is more concerned with tasks that have planned date activity in the current week (if the task has a planned start or completion date in that week) and the status of tasks rather than their due dates and predecessor orders. The tile view is a mirror image of the Assignment management resource manager page, primarily allowing a project or resource manager to prioritize tasks, but creatives can move tasks between columns as well to provide detail in the opposite direction on their daily/weekly plans. Other than task status columns, the cards retain all functionality seen on the default card view.
It is important to note that the system settings do not affect the date range of the tasks displayed. Just like on the Assignment management screen any task that has a planned start or completion date that falls within the week displayed will appear. System settings do apply to predecessors, however:
This option shows or hides tasks that do not have their predecessors completed. This option is checked by default, but in setup should be standardized to match what is seen on the Assignment management page. Consistency between the two views is important to smooth operation in this workflow.